Excellence in Quality

Quality Improvement Plan

Make my transition from the hospital seamless

Image of someone being help through a transition We know that as patients start to feel better, the best place for them to be is at home – however they define home. Our job is to ensure patients know when they may be ready to go home so that they and their support network can plan for that transition. In 2016-17, we are continuing the work we initiated last year. With our patients, we will be co-designing improved discharge processes in the following ways:

Keep me informed
We will continue to use whiteboards in patient rooms to communicate an expected date of discharge and capture questions and concerns to help prepare patients. We will provide a summary of items to remember when the patient goes home, in simple language and not our complicated health-care terms or jargon. This list will include what medications are needed, what activities can be resumed and when, and who to call with questions.

Measure my satisfaction
We will use a new patient satisfaction survey to monitor what patients think about the discharge process. This feedback will help us identify how we can improve.

Reduce the amount of time I wait in the Emergency Department
Emergency Departments can be scary, loud and uncomfortable places. While patients may feel good knowing they are in safe hands and getting care during an urgent situation, we know that when we move patients from the ED to a bed in a timely manner, they start to heal and rest, and we free up our ED to care for others.

Improving the patient experience in our ED will continue as a key priority. The success of this work includes partnering with patients on how we get them ready to go home. We will also look at how patients can access care outside of an Emergency Department. For example, we plan to pilot a new rapid assessment clinic for patients who are cared for by our General Internal Medicine teams in an effort to avert admissions and readmissions. One of our challenges will be that our Emergency Department will begin a renovation this year. As we work in a space under construction, it will be even more important to move patients quickly to the next area of care.

Keep me from coming back to the hospital
We are privileged at St. Michael’s to provide comprehensive care to our community through our six Family Health Teams (FHT) in the downtown core. Our FHTs are often a patient’s front door to St. Michael’s. We know, through patient feedback and by examining our data, that we could do a better job of keeping patients out of hospital and cared for at home. This year, we are collaborating with our FHTs to find ways to better develop care plans and to communicate patient care needs between the hospital and the FHTs. Initially, we will measure the rate with which patients with congestive heart failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease return to our hospital within 30 days of discharge. Our aim is to reduce readmissions and ensure that when patients are discharged from the hospital, they have the appropriate follow-up appointments with their family physician and community resources to support them.